Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was only meant to work on Coronation Street for two months. Her character was intended as little more than a gimmick to help the Manchester-based soap opera compete in the ratings battle with then-dominant EastEnders. Fifteen years later, her character’s story has finally come to a close, and with it, one of soap’s most enduring and touching romances: that of oddball Roy and his kind-hearted wife, Hayley.
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Thursday 07 April 2011
One of Alastair Campbell's most celebrated – and sensible – pieces of advice to Tony Blair was that "we don't do God". The perils of "doing God" were on full display yesterday, after the announcement that Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College Cambridge, was this year's winner of the Templeton Prize. This award – which was once for "progress in religion", but has since broadened its remit – routinely raises passions, a phenomenon probably not unrelated to its £1m value. Even so, this year's outpouring of vitriol was unusual.
Sunday 03 April 2011
Monday 07 March 2011
The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an atheist's latest challenge to the government's references to God.
Friday 18 February 2011
Wednesday 26 January 2011
Good news for those with cash on Wall Street: this year's Superbowl match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is set to herald soaring share prices. According to market researcher Capital IQ, when the Steelers are in the big game the S&P 500 index surges by an average of 25.2 per cent for the calendar year, and by an average of 24.2 per cent when the Packers are in. Numbers like that should help mollify all those Wall Streeters crying over the demise of their beloved New York Jets.
Friday 14 January 2011
How miserably we acknowledge some people. Charles Bradlaugh, pelted with insults, facing imprisonment and bankruptcy and his life shortened, ultimately defeated the Anglican hierarchy and the Conservative party at its late-Victorian nastiest. Elected Liberal MP in 1880, he took his seat in 1885. He then proved an exemplary member, adding the India Office to his enemies as he asserted the rights of the actual Indians before dying exhausted in 1891 at 57. Much of our modern mindset is Bradlaugh's creation.
Monday 10 January 2011
Tuesday 21 December 2010
Monday 22 November 2010
Sunday 07 November 2010
Richard Dawkins' atheism has provoked a series of intelligent books about religion, from Marilynne Robinson's Absence of Mind and K aren Armstrong's The Case for God to this anthropological and philosophical enquiry by Robert Wright, an agnostic.
Monday 25 October 2010
Sunday 26 September 2010
Sunday 19 September 2010
Saturday 18 September 2010
Saturday 11 September 2010
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant